Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obscure Horror Movie Review - "And Soon the Darkness"

This 1970 movie ended up in my collection by serendipity. I’ve kept it because it satisfies a certain need depending on my mood. I bought it without having seen it because it was a British 1970 film with Pamela Franklin (did some classic 70s horror movies like “Legend of Hell House.” and “Satan’s School For Girls”).

This is not your usual horror movie, more of a suspense thriller. Two nurses from England decide to go on a bicycling tour of France. It’s very pastoral and beautiful in the setting and the characters show an adequate amount of vulnerability as they ride the rural backroads of France alone.

This it not a high action, fast-paced film, but because it does sort of stroll along with undertones of creepiness, it’s very atmospheric. The girls get into an argument, one of them goes missing, and while the other tries to find her, she herself becomes vulnerable to whatever might have taken her friend. The characters she encounters are odd and suspicious. It’s a good cat-and-mouse kind of plot and you certainly suspect everyone you see in the film.

I probably keep this in my collection mostly because I love that era of British films, the scenery, and the quirkiness that only a foreign film can give. It’s all done in English which, of course, makes it much easier to follow, but it definitely feels like a European film.

It has a twist ending that surprises and it’s definitely worth a first-time see if you happen across it. I keep it for when I’m in the mood for something with a dated foreign feel without being translated and that has reasonable suspense to keep me interested.

I’d be more likely to suggest this film if you liked any of these; “Psycho,” “Turn of the Screw” (“The Innocents”), or “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death.”


  1. I love the way you do these articles about obscure movies by always telling folks if they enjoyed certain other more popular movies they might like this one-if I ever get to doing more book reviews at my place -I need to keep this in mind to mention other books so people will know what it is sort of like -I forgot to mention to you Xdell put a comment under my most recent post about crop circles and musical ratios-I thought you might want to see it when you have time-certainly no reason to comment again unless you want to -I was so out of it yesterday I forgot to mention it-best as always and thanks for your wonderful research and blog!! This sounds like a movie I would like -I picked staying home on Halloween-kind of incognito -there is a decided lack of trick or treaters in this area -but even tho I have nothing against Halloween-I am not complaining:-)

  2. Devin;
    You always make me smile. Yeah, I'll check out the crop circles comment. I had a period of time when I was building my collection that I went nuts learning what movies are like what movies. If you look on Amazon or IMDB they sometimes have a few suggestions, but they are usually rather random. I want something that feels and tastes like the other movie, so I like to give people a reference point. I can't tell you how many years I searched when I found a movie I adored and tried to find more like it. In the horror realm, there's the common like "Nightmare on Elm Street" and then there's a smarter horror. I can't help it, but I'm a romantic at heart and I adore atmosphere, fog, creepy sounds, and mystery. That's why the Brit's have my attention all the time. They really get me, or I guess technically I really get them. Hee hee. :-)

  3. Ain't seen it yet, Autumn. Have you seen this? I never would've thought of HIM ever dying:

    Hans Holzer dies
    Thursday April 30, 2009
    Hans Holzer
    One of the real giants and pioneers in the field of ghost investigation and paranormal research, Hans Holzer, died this past Sunday at the age of 89. Often called "the original Ghost Hunter," Holzer investigated thousands of ghost and haunting cases, and wrote more than 145 books on the supernatural. As a parapsychologist, Holzer's influence on today's researchers is far-reaching; many of the theories we have today about ghost phenomena are due to or heavily influenced by his work. Like many of today's writers and researchers on paranormal subjects, I was inspired and intrigued by Holzer's books beginning at an early age. Whenever I went to the library as a kid, I always sought out books about ghosts, and clearly remember some of those by Holzer -- even some of the specific cases he documented. Many of his books can still be found on my shelves, and I always pick up his old, out-of-print paperbacks whenever I find them at yard sales and thrift stores. Hans Holzer's impact on this field cannot be overstated. You can read an obituary by his daughter, Alexandra.

    Oother 'an 'at, lass, you're carryin' the torch magnificently, even better, you being an innate sensitive, as you are. Have that wondrously wonder-fill'd sacred springs AND holy fire holiday, Bealtainne, today! ~ Anadæ Effro (•:-)}

  4. Anadæ; I saw that about Holzer. I have to say, I'd like to make a connection with a ghost hunting team that I respect when I'm elderly and have them sort of on-call for when I'm passing to try some experiments. It'd be like my last great contribution (other than organ donation). After that, wouldn't mind a Viking send off in a boat...of course, I'm in the desert, so maybe not too picturesque...

  5. Sounds like another interesting movie. I enjoy reading about them.

  6. I think Pamela Franklin played Flora in The Innocents in 1962